Pastor John Gordon lay restlessly starring at a dark ceiling. The clock reads 2:43am. An encounter with Brent, a seventeen year old member of his youth group, was playing over and over in his mind. Brent has been struggling with his unbelieving parents and in a matter-of-fact comment declared that he would be much better off if he could move in with his youth leader.
John’s heart grieves as he recalls a youth sponsor workshop that he had attended with that same youth leader. The instructor of the workshop had challenged the workers to “win the hearts of their youths away from their parents”. The exhortation was specifically directed toward youths with unbelieving parents.
Now Brent was reflecting the successful implementation of that training. He was dishonoring his parents under the influence of the church training program. Pastor Gordon felt a tear trickle down the side of his face as he contemplated the reality that under his own care a young person had been led to violate the fifth commandment.
Outlandish? “That wouldn’t happen!” you say? “They don’t really teach youth workers to do that,” you rebut. I am sorry, but they do. Although it may not always be that blatant, it is true.
Pastor, ask yourself this question: “Are the activities of the church body for which I am responsible putting families together or pulling them apart?” The family is in enough trouble in our culture today without the church contributing to its demise. It is time to distinguish between that which is Scriptural and that which is cultural. It is time to rise up as a man of the Scriptures. Families are being led away as sheep to the slaughter and the Lord has placed shepherds in their role to protect and defend.
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